Royle: Keep the faith

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today begged fans to keep faith in their promotion-chasing side.Town were knocked off the top of the Championship for the first time since Christmas by virtue of Wigan's 2-1 victory at struggling Coventry last night.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today begged fans to keep faith in their promotion-chasing side.

Town were knocked off the top of the Championship for the first time since Christmas by virtue of Wigan's 2-1 victory at struggling Coventry last night.

That puts the Latics ahead on goal difference, while Sunderland are three points adrift in the simmering race to claim the two automatic promotion places.

It will come to the boil over the clubs' remaining 12 games, with the fact that they all have to play each other adding further intrigue to what promises to be a nail-biting climax.

Royle is concerned that some supporters are over-reacting to Tuesday's shock home defeat by a Watford side who had gone 12 away games without winning.

The Town boss said: “I could sense a bit of over-reaction the other night.

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“There were sporadic boos and I really didn't think it was fair.

“We've had one bad result, that's all, and we have still only been beaten six times in the league this season.

“Nobody ever gives you promotion. You have to go out and earn it, and there could be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between now and the end of the season.

“I never thought we were home and dry when we were six points clear at the top. Where we are come May is all that matters.

“The public will always have their say and that's fine, but there were one or two players in the dressing-room at the end saying, 'Are we really top'?

“As I said after the game, there is no crisis. The boys have been remarkably consistent all season and are keen to get the Watford result out of their system as quickly as possible.”

Ipswich will be looking to do exactly that with a home win over QPR on Saturday - a game defender Fabian Wilnis may miss.

Royle revealed: “Fabian has a tight hamstring and groin. He didn't think he would be able to train today and will have a go tomorrow.”

If the experienced Dutchman is ruled out and with Drissa Diallo not yet fully fit, the Town boss could bring in on-loan Arsenal youngster Daniel Karbassiyoon.

Diallo occupied the right-back berth through to December, when he picked up a hamstring injury against QPR at Loftus Road. He has missed the last 12 senior games.

Royle added: “Drissa is still sore and not yet back in full training. Daniel is two-footed and we have a number of options, but I won't look at that until I know about Fabian.”

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